Friday of the Third Week of Easter

(Jn 6, 52-59)

The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying,
“How can this man give us his Flesh to eat?”
Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless you eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink his Blood,
you do not have life within you.
Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood
has eternal life,
and I will raise him on the last day.
For my Flesh is true food,
and my Blood is true drink.
Whoever eats my Flesh and drinks my Blood
remains in me and I in him.
Just as the living Father sent me
and I have life because of the Father,
so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.
This is the bread that came down from heaven.
Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died,
whoever eats this bread will live forever.”
These things he said while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

Talks of eating human flesh and blood horrifies us. And in the history of our faith, we have been accused of cannibalistic practices especially in the first four hundred years of our existence. Even during the time of Jesus, horror and disgust at this type of conversation is already evident as our gospel today would show. This happens because some people were not privy to the mystery of our faith. They were not aware that the Jesus in front of them is the Son of the Father. He is not only human. He is also God. Hence His discourse is not on the literal physical plane only but more so on the symbolic and the spiritual as well. This type of conversation needs preparation on the part of the hearer. They need to be schooled in the teachings of Jesus. Hence those who first hear it were scandalized. But those who were already prepared profited much and without fear received the “flesh and blood” of Jesus, the bread of life that comes from heaven.

Fr. Paulson V. Veliyannoor, CMF.


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